Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Coelogyne Burfordiense, cultural note, growing it on a wire column

My plant of Coelogyne Burfordiense (Coe. asperata x Coe. pandurata) gives me very little problems except for the fact that it has a very vexing trait.  It will escape, sometimes in less than a year, from most pots.  Planting it in a large pot is a problem due to the large quantity of media that has to be used and the almost sureity that the big mass of media will become anoxic and kill the roots.  So I decided to grow this plant attached to a column of wire, this would allow me to train the growth ups and keep the plant tidy, or as tidy as it could be.  I made a 36 inches tall wire column, I used the sturdiest, strongest wire I could find.  Then I attached the column to the side of a 12" pot.  I attached the column using wires threaded through holes in the pot.  I made sure that the column was very firmly attached to the pot, this is essential as I often move the pot by pulling the column.  I started growing this plant this way in October 2007.  My plan was to keep adding media as the plant climbed up the column.

By May 2010, the plant was producing impressive bloomings with several inflorescences opening at the same time.  Most of the growths were close to the column, but some has grown out toward the sides, those were cut out when they had two pseudobulbs or more, only those pseudobulbs that kept close to the column were allowed to remain.  However it is important to keep a close watch when the plant is producing new growths so that they don't become tangled in the wire or try to grow into the column. 

This is the plant as it is now December 2013.  It has a considerable weight and had to be moved to a location where it gets full sun for part of the day because it had so many leaves it was self shading.  The growths have reached the top of the column.  The plant stands about four feet and a half tall at the tip of its top leaves.  Last year it produced nine inflorescences during a several months blooming season.  Next year I will probably have to cut the top growths which by then may be jutting out into space.  But I expect that by then I will have another pot and column ready for them, and who knows, I might even try to make an even larger one.

As you can see the plant can send inflorescences every which way, not ony toward the side that gets the strongest light.  To the left you ca  n see a string of pseudobulbs growing away from the column with their roots all exposed.  Note that the inflrescences are at several stages of development, from just emerging to losing their flowers.

Rainfall supplies the water needs of this plant, only at the height of the dry season is there a need to water it.  Here are approximate values for rainfall in the Rio Abajo area.

                             J       F      M       A       M       J       J       A       S      O      N      D
Rainfall (mm)      99    76     84      165    283    155   141   216    237   233  176   135

(inches)               3.9   3.0    3.3    6.5    11.1    6.1    5.5   8.5      9.3    9.1     6.9   5.3


Unknown said...

Que bela ideia compartilhou, obrigada, vou tentar fazer uma coluna.
A planta está muito linda.

Maureen and Stephen at Papillon Bed and Breakfast said...

Ricardo. Very impressive plant and interesting way to grow it. I have several what are described as pandurata but apparently in Australia true pandurata are rare to non existent and my plants may be burfordiense. They are all growing on trees and flower well b.ut only one inflorescence at a time. I am going to try your method!

Unknown said...

Dear Ricardo,

Your invention is stanning! I have a c.pandurata which trying to grow out of the pot...I want to try your method. The only comcern is media... You will have such a quantity of old media after several years....Doesn't it prone to rotting and killing roots? You used bark as a media?

Ricardo said...

The good thing about growing this plant in a column is that no matter what media you use if it rot it will fall away when you water the plant. Eventually the column will be filled with the plant roots. Because the media will wash away there is no danger of the media developing spots where the lack of oxygen will kill the roots

Sonia Jacobs Dow said...

Hola Ricardo, I worry about the Coe. Burfordiense becoming top heavy and falling over. How do you stabilize it? Have you tried attaching a column to a concrete pot?

St. Croix

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant a clay pot.